Literature of Satavahana Dynasty

The official language of satavahana dynasty was Prakrit. During the reign of Hala of satavahanas, it was the golden age for Prakrit. The inscriptions of satavahanas were all mostly issued in Prakrit. Prakrit was the official language, language for daily usage and as well the language for literature. However, Sanskrit was also used during this period. Hala of Satavahanas wrote Gadhasapthasathi, which was a famous book that has details about social life during the period of satavahanas.


Telugu during Satavahana Period


Telugu emerged later but partially during the period of satavahanas only. It is believed that the Telugu has slowly emerged from the local dialect of Prakrit. The local dialect of Prakrit was close enough to Telugu as mentioned by D.C.Sarkar. The first word in Telugu was Nagabhu. This word Nagabhu was coming from the inscription at Amravati. The book written in Prakrit that has got Telugu words in it was Gathasaptasati.


Gathasaptasati of Hala


The king Hala was honored with the title Kavivatsala. Hala was the author of the book Gathasaptasati. He was assisted to complete his work by few people. The women who assisted Hala to complete his work include; Anu Lakshmi, Madhavi, Revathi and Anupama Labba.

There are 700 stories in Gathasaptasati. There are many Telugu words used in this work. The Telugu words used in Gathasaptasati include; Atha, Potta, Pilla, Bondhi, Rampa, Adham, Maila, Podi and Kusuru.

Gathasaptasati gives an account of the social life during Satavahana period. According to Gathasaptasati, women performed sati during satavahana period. There were no child marriages during satavahana period and the women who don't have backing and family use to indulge in prostitution during satavahana period.

The entertainment during Satavahana period according to Gathasaptasati was group dances and partner dance. The book also has a mention about the life of women whose husbands were in sea trade.

Brihatkatha of Gunadhya


Gunadhya was the author of the book Brihatkatha. Brihatkatha was written in Paisacha language. The slavery during the satavahana period was detailed in Brihatkatha. It is assumed that this book was a basis for the Panchatantra stories.

Leelavathi Parinayam by Kuthuhala


Leelavathi Parinayam was written by Kuthuhala. The book was all about the marriage between the Satavahana king Hala and the Sri Lankan Princess Leelavathi. The marriage took place at Draksharamam according to the book.

Sanskrit during Satavahana Period


The Sanskrit was also in use during Satavahana Period. Sanskrit was encouraged by Kuthuhala of Satavahanas. During the latter half of Satavahana period, the entire south has Sanskrit in usage. The Buddhists of Mahayana sect used Sanskrit in their works. Rudradaman of Sakas used Sanskrit and issued an inscription entirely in Sanskrit at Janagarh.

Important books in Sanskrit during Satavahana period include; Katantra Vyakaranam written by Sarva Varma and Kamasutra written by Vatsyayana. According to Kamasutra by Vatsyayana, the important festivals during satavahana period include; Kaumudi Yagam, Gata Nibandhana, Madanotsavam and Hala Udyanavana festival.

Musical Instruments during Satavahana Dynasty


During Satavahana period the important musical instruments used include; Mrudangam, Sankham, Veena and Venuvu.

Acharya Nagarjuna lived during Satavahana period. Acharya Nagarjuna was a Buddhist of Mahayana Sect. He used Sanskrit to write the books on Buddhism. Books compilation in Sanskrit was started during Satavahana period.

Education during Satavahana Dynasty


During the period of Satavahanas the education system followed was the system of Gurukul. The University of Dhanyakataka was the basis for the establishment of the University of Lhasa in Tibet. The education used to be in Prakrit and local dialect of Prakrit. Kings were trained with the rules of Kshatriyas. Members of guilds used to teach their children about their own profession.

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